Birth cohorts in asthma and allergic diseases: Report of a NIAID/NHLBI/MeDALL joint workshop
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Population-based birth cohorts on asthma and allergies increasingly provide new insights into the development and natural history of the diseases. More than 130 birth cohorts focusing on asthma and allergy have been initiated in the last 30 years. A National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; Mechanisms of the Development of Allergy (MeDALL; Framework Programme 7 of the European Commission) joint workshop was held in Bethesda, Maryland, on September 11-12, 2012, with 3 objectives: (1) documenting the knowledge that asthma/allergy birth cohorts have provided, (2) identifying the knowledge gaps and inconsistencies, and (3) developing strategies for moving forward, including potential new study designs and the harmonization of existing asthma birth cohort data. The meeting was organized around the presentations of 5 distinct workgroups: (1) clinical phenotypes, (2) risk factors, (3) immune development of asthma and allergy, (4) pulmonary development, and (5) harmonization of existing birth cohorts. This article presents the workgroup reports and provides Web links (AsthmaBirthCohorts.niaid.nih.gov or www.medall-fp7.eu), where the reader will find tables describing the characteristics of the birth cohorts included in this report, the type of data collected at differing ages, and a selected bibliography provided by the participating birth cohorts.
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